Virtual learning a tool on snow days

Local4 News at 10
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 2:59 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The snow on Thursday didn’t stop the ability for students to get their education at Hastings College.

Professors have the option to still have class on snow days thanks to virtual learning.

“Snow days are long gone unfortunately,” said Bob Amyot, political science professor at Hastings College.

Officials say being able to move the class online is good for both students and instructors.

“There’s no break in the class. There’s no break in the curriculum. There’s no break from one point to the next without having to worry about making things up or if we’re gonna get the material covered before the end of the block,” said Jarod Rogers, Hastings College’s Director of the Center for Applied Media Arts.

Rogers said he doesn’t think they can replace face to face interactions in class learning.

“But based on today’s technology and expectations with how we’re doing class, I think having the online capabilities is essential,” he said.

Online learning became the go-to during the COVID pandemic with many professors navigating how to teach a class over the screen for the first time.

It’s something that was challenging but then you start figuring things out.

“Getting them engaged, letting them know what the expectations are like, that I want their cameras on or you know I want regular participation is part of it, but you know a lot of that is on me,” said Amyot.

Amyot said he has to know how to structure the class and let his students know that they will be called on.

He added on top of building repour, if students know each other that can be helpful to get them to engage.

If that doesn’t work, he said sometimes his dog will make an appearance to get the students to refocus and participate.